Sunday, September 19, 2010

What happens when I can't run...and a cool conference.

"You can't fit a square peg in a round hole."

It is only a little over a year ago that I started running. During those first few weeks, I remember injuring my hamstring and I could not run for a good month. At that time, I enjoyed my time on the bike or the eliptical. I remember that I really didn't mind at all. The thing is, at that time, I was not yet addicted to running. Actually, I didn't even like running very much and it was almost a relief to not be able to do it. However, this past week it was made very clear to me that I am now officially addicted to running. So, knowing I'd be using the bike when I went to the gym caused major procrastination and in the end, a severe lack of endorphins. BUT, I did go to the gym twice and plan on going today (not so bad).

If it was just the knee, I'd still be running, because it's not serious...but, it's my left foot that remains sensitive (I still have a slight limp). Although it's definitely much better, I know it's not ready for running yet.  

Oh and the other thing I did is buy cheese sticks this week...the last time I bought cheese sticks is like a year ago...I needed a serious treat. 

Having said all that, yes I'm frustrated, but I am not at all discouraged. I know that all will heal and that one day soon I'll be back out there. I just hope it's sooner, rather than later :)

On the cool side, I went to a conference on Thursday called, "New Trends in the Prevention of Running Injuries". The talk was by Blaise Dubois, who is a Sport Physiotherapist and Consultant for Athletics Canada. It was super interesting and based on recent research findings. Here are the points that I retained:

1) Always give your body the time to adapt to any changes. Transition gradually to new shoes, even if they are exactly the same shoe.  Basically, he says that the body can adapt very well (to more mileage, or more hills, or faster tempo, or minimalist shoes, or no shoes) if we give it time and transition gradually. This was the advice he repeated most often.

2) If you want to know what the best running form for you is, try going barefoot. He suggests that what is natural to one person, may not be natural to another. He also mentions that going barefoot forces us to land lightly and to use the proprioreceptors in our feet as a guide (thus, not likely to land on our heel).

3) He is a fan of minimalist shoes, but again, he suggests a gradual transition (i.e., only running a few minutes more in the new shoes each time until our body has fully adapted). He also repeats that going barefoot once in a while is a good way to maintain form. (Living in Québec city, he doesn't do barefoot only).

4) In order to keep the foot landing underneath the body and not in front of the body, it is important to have a cadence that is around 180 steps per minute. Thus, helping us land lightly on the mid-foot and take shorter strides.

Lots of what Mr. Dubois said reminded me of Born to Run (though he's been giving these talks for a few years already  and uses only research studies to back his points - he never mentions the book Born to Run). But, he also feels that running shoe companies are only about making money.  He showed us shoes from 1960 till now and then showed us how the new minimalist shoes are all very similar to the cheap 1960 and 1970 shoes (when apparently, the percentage of injuries was lower).

There is so much more, but you can check out the link to his website. He was funny and showed cool videos...it was a super interesting conference.

I went with UberH and my Super SIL, who were seated on either side of me. Everytime he mentioned that the transition must be done gradually if we want to give our body the chance to adapt, they would nudge me and grin. Yes, I know, I have learned my lesson and will take things gradually. It's hard, because I usually go quite quickly when I learn something new...but running requires patience. Ok...I can do that, I can be patient :)

 No running yet, but I'll definitely keep you posted!
Enjoy your runs, because you can!
Cheers!

35 comments:

Lisa said...

"Enjoy your runs, because you can!"

I spent three months sidelined with knee issues. Believe me, I am enjoying ever step right now. :-)

Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

New to your blog. Thanks for posting your conference findings. Was there any definition to what gradually was though. As in how many miles increased over what period time?

Alma said...

Very interesting, thanks!

Laura said...

Thanks for sharing that advice, it's really useful to know. I would have never thought of transitioning to a new shoe if it was the same as my old shoes!

Iron Mike said...

Wow, cool conference info. I really don't think we pay enough attention to our proprioreceptors!

We have some beautiful nearly-fall weather so it will be no problem enjoying a few runs on your behalf while you fall in love with the gym.

Claire said...

excellent info!! Here's to quick mending lady!

Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

Anne,

thanks so much! 10-15 minutes additional actually sounds more practical than using miles by themselve as a marker for your long runs. I like that. Good luck with the injury as well. I am starting back this week after injury down time. So, the reminder of keeping things gradual - hits the right spot, right now for me. Thanks again for sharing!

Giorgio said...

Great post Anne. Thanks for sharing! Good luck with the injury as well!

mommaof3ontherun said...

I'm normally quick to pick up new things. Running has been humbling for me! Good lessons though.

Forward Foot Strides said...

Thanks for the shoe transition tip, I would not have known that!

Hope you're able to run again soon, I know how frustrating injuries are.

In lighter news, you're the featured blog of the week on my page. (Meaning you're blog is hilighted above my blog roll with a link to your page.

Congrats!

Kate said...

I had a stress fracture in my foot back in March after switching to a minimalist shoe. I didn't exactly do it gradually, so I agree that is key!!

Sorry you're limping... I am limping too. The foam roller is currently my new BFF. I haven't run all week ~ Just yoga, bike & elliptical for this girl. It makes me realize I too am addicted to running.

Sending healing thoughts your way... :)

Teamarcia said...

Blaise sounds like a wise man! Thanks for sharing.

C.G. the Foodie said...

That is great information. Thank you for sharing with another injured runner :o)

Heather said...

Hope you recovery quickly so you can run again soon. I agree, a bike ride or elliptical just doesn't do the trick like a good run does. :)

Jennifer said...

Sounds like a fabulous lecture. I am going to check out his web site for sure. I sure do hope the foot gets to feeling better soon!

ajh said...

Thanks for noticing the new quote in my header. I saw it somewhere and thought it seemed appropriate. Good luck getting back to running.

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing the interesting info - and hang in there with your foot!

Julie said...

Hi Anne,
It sounds like a very helpful conference for you! Great advice:)

kilax said...

I think that is something all runners end up learning the hard way - not to rush in to things. We just get so excited.

I wonder if there are more injuries documented now because there are more people running. And more casual runners.

I wish I could figure out my cadence. I should count it on my next run.

Hope you are better soon!

Johann said...

Really nice post! Lucky you to be able to go to that conference. I think the message was clear and now you must just be patient. Also remember to be just as gradual in upping the distances from half marathon to 25km to 32km to 35km to marathon. Good luck and hope you’ll be running soon. I’m so addicted myself I don’t know how I’ll cope without running now.

Marlene said...

I know I would have major motivation issues if I wasn't able to run! Good for you sticking with it!

Thanks for sharing some tips from the conference - it sounds like it was very worthwhile.

Laura said...

Great post...thanks for sharing Anne!

Molly said...

Great advice from the conference!

love cheese sticks, sometimes I melt them in the microwave and just eat them with a spoon!!

chris mcpeake said...

take it slow and recover you will be running again in no time

Kelsey: the Blonde Bullet said...

Thanks for the great comments on my blog! I'm sorry to hear you're having to postpone the marathon. We're in it together!! Totally sympathize on the gym thing. I have to give myself a major pep talk every time. It's amazing how quickly we have become running addicts :) But nice work getting to the gym and making the cross-training happen. It may not be as fun, but it will be worth it to keep in shape!

The conference sounds awesome. My PT told me to wait on the minimalist shoes until my knees are better, but when I get there I think I will try the Sauconeys. I like that brand a lot.

Happy cross-training :)

Beth said...

Thanks so much for all of your encouragement. I feel like you know about challenges and overcoming them, so it really means a lot to me. Patience is so hard, but I'm right there with you working on mine. Take care and you will be running again soon. :)

smartwool said...

Good to hear that your running...
Thanks for sharing your story...its very inspiring.

Jamie said...

hopefully you will be back running in no time. sounds like a very interesting conference.

Meg said...

I totally agree with the gradual transitions in mileage and speed. Such a healthy message, thanks for reminding me/us!
Hang in there, stay strong...it won't be long.

Adam said...

I'm with Kim @ Klax. I think we've all been there before. BUT, that doesn't make it any easier to swollow! Blah

Black Knight said...

Interesting post and thank you for sharing these important advices. I learned, after some injuries, how the gradual transition is important (10%?). I hope that you get well soon but the cross training helps a lot.

Melinda said...

I'm glad to hear you are officially addicted to running! And thanks for sharing Blaise's insight. Very interesting stuff indeed!

MomRunningFromCancer said...

Sounds like a great conference. Glad you are listening to your body and hoping that it will start listening to you and will heal quickly so that you can get back to running.

Enjoy!

Barefoot Neil Z said...

Running waits for you at the door, and will be there when you are ready. And I LIKE that Blaise dude!

Wifey said...

Hope you'll be running again soon; and thanks for the great info!

Winks & Smiles,
Wifey